Skip to main content

How To Write Bad Poetry

Keira is just a teenager, a lover and devoted friend of literature.


I remember when about, I guess, 7 years ago, I was just starting on writing, like there wasn't this 'I am going to be an author' bug stuck in my mind, I was aching for something to do, and well painting didn't seem creative enough anymore.

So I did what any normal person does in a situation with a conflict of interest, I goggled it.

Tabs, and tabs, and tabs of advice to read, opened in different browsers (still incognito though I never wanted to look like a person who needs any advice anyway). I don't think people realize how vast the scope of the internet is, until well, they see how vast the scope of the internet is.

Returning to the point I very briefly am forgetting to write in a how-to-write blog, I searched for this very specific recommendation about how to write poetry.

Here's how that turned out.

Just Write

With experience, just writing gets you nowhere. Or if that might work for some people, there will be a point where you'll eventually feel lost.

Know What Type of Poetry You Want To Write

Absolutely not. It's really good knowing about the basic forms of poetry but deciding this is in advance, as a beginner? Absolutely useless.

So should I tell myself to write a poem about my dead dog or should I tell myself to write a lyrical acrostic that shows my sorrow?

Don't use Clichés!

No shit Sherlock, but nobody uses clichés. What are clichés anyway? Normal writing (there is a first for everything) that was once considered so perfect that everyone started using it, and using it, until it gets overused and people call it basic these days?

I honestly don't think there's any fun to poetry if you cannot compare your future art to some nonsensical oh-so-clichéd poem you wrote when you first started.

I used to believe vision was a curse,

And knowledge it's blatant scare

Yet there were times I hid behind windows,

Rather glass, the ones we always deemed fair

Because what must be seen,

Might never be known

And what must have been said

Could always be gone to mourn

The para above? It's a snippet from one of my own poems, and I didn't use any prompt tool to teach me writing.

(Here's the link I cannot forget about shameless self promo.)

Scroll to Continue
  • Hope Disguised
    I called this hope disguised, Because isn't the dark the easiest way to find the light?

So What Did I Actually Do?

I was always crafty and well look at this little cheat sheet.

  1. Read a lot of poetry(although that one was tough because eventually you will try to copy some great artist, and fail miserably at it.)
  2. Rhymed without sense (I used to practice by writing random sentences, and then I'd look up the rhyming words for the ending ones, and gradually there was some draft on there.)
  3. Tried to less self criticize (I understand this is the only thing that actually made me write better, but trust me, and trust your process. You didn't just wake up with a good moral obligation did you, excuse me, the thought counts?)
  4. Wrote random poems about anything and everything (In the beginning when you start poetry, you won't find a lot of ideas about where to well, start from, I used to write random rhyming lines about the clumsiest boy on the street. Well those lines did turn to poetry didn't they?)

I hope this really helps though, I don't want to become another article that you and read and nod to with so much inside you, and then end up doing whatever else you had planned for the day.

(Also, I am sorry I was big time ia. The thing is, Covid ruined my health and I could barely lift a pencil for my life, but now I'm back. And I won't leave.)

© 2021 Keira Anand


Keira Anand (author) on May 13, 2021:

exactly, theres a spanse of genres and ideas, and yes i agree, there is no rule for poetry

Keira Anand (author) on May 13, 2021:

god i love knowing how different people god into it, it's like this invisible solidarity (thats the way i got into novel writing you know)

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 13, 2021:

That poem you wrote probably was a poem.

There is no set rule for poetry.

Some rhyme...some don't.

I'm not sure when my love for it began. I remember always jotting down my thoughts.

I was and am a bit of a daydreamer.

In grade school I wrote a play that was performed at school. So, I guess I really didn't find my true passion until later because I wrote plays, short stories, just about anything.

I knew I wanted to write, but over the years I just collected piles of notes and notebooks full of my work.

I've misplaced a few.

I basically write poetry now & it is free verse.

I usually never rhyme.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on May 13, 2021:

This was an interesting read, Keira. I guess, anyone who writes poetry has their own story about how they got into it. I guess I sort of did by accident. At school (can’t exactly remember what grade...maybe five or six) we were assigned to write a poem for homework on any topic. Well, I forgot to do my homework, and was in English class when the teacher started asking the students to read the poems they wrote for homework.

I quickly just started writing down anything that popped into my head, structured it like a poem, though nothing rhymed.

Even before I’d finished the teacher asked me to stand and read my I did, even making up the last stanza as I read.

The teacher congratulated me on the poem and said it should be an example for the other students and posted it on the wall.

After that, I thought “this poetry gig is a breeze and I’ll explore it further. It isn’t as easy as I first thought but I love writing it, and despite my start, now most of my poetry is rhyming verse.

Related Articles